Alexander Announces Agreement on Legislation to Help 21,000 Tennessee Families Access Safe, Affordable, and Quality Child Care

Alexander-sponsored legislation will allow parents in Tennessee to choose the best care for their child while they work or attend school

Posted on September 12, 2014

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“This bill helps a working Tennessee mother be able to pay for child care while she earns a degree so she can pay for it herself. Every month, an average of 39,000 Tennessee children get childcare through this program while their parents earn an education or build a career.” –Lamar Alexander

Washington, D.C., Sept. 12 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today announced that an agreement has been reached between the Senate and House on the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014, legislation to expand access to and improve the quality of care for nearly 39,000 Tennessee children.

“This bill helps a working Tennessee mother be able to pay for child care while she earns a degree so she can pay for it herself,” said Alexander, the senior Republican on the Senate labor committee. “Every month, an average of 39,000 Tennessee children get childcare through this program while their parents earn an education or build a career. Today’s agreement will continue success stories like the Memphis mother whose infant received care through this program while she earned a business degree and rose to assistant manager at a Walmart, enabling her to pay for the care of her second child at the same childcare center.”

The Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Actof 2014, sponsored by Alexander, passed the Senate by a vote of  96-2 in March and is one of 20 bipartisan Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee bills in the 113th Congress to be approved by the full Senate. Sixteen of those bills have already been signed into law. This legislation will reauthorize and update the child care grant program, which gives grants to Tennessee and other states to help low-income working families pay for child care, mainly through vouchers that let them choose the best facility for their children while the parent works or attends school. In 2012, Tennessee received $53 million from this block grant and, in combination with other federal and state funds, was able to provide child care vouchers to an average of approximately 21,000 families for nearly 39,000 children. This legislation would update the 1996 Child Care and Development Block Grant Act that has been due for reauthorization since 2002.

 

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